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Mars lander out of commission

The Phoenix Mars lander, after ceasing to deliver reports for over a week, is presumed dead, according to the New York Times.

“At this time, we’re pretty convinced that the vehicle is no longer available for us to use,? said Barry Goldstein, the project manager. “We’re actually ceasing operations, declaring an end to mission operations at this point.?

The lander has fallen dead as the result of the coming Martian winter with it's increasingly lower temperatures and reduction of solar exposure, which powers the lander through exterior solar panerls.

Phoenix sent it's last message on Nov. 2nd it would seem, as NASA officials deemed it unlikely that any more transmissions would be recieved. Thus, culminating the $475 million, which is being declared a success, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"This is an Irish wake rather than a funeral," he said during a briefing with reporters at NASA headquarters in Washington.

The Phoenix lander, which first grounded on Mars' surface May 25th, has been collecting data with regards to the plausibility of Mars supporting simple organisms.

NASA will likely try to re-initiate the lander when the Martian winter subsides, with the hopes that the lander' can recharge it's batteries. However, the mission already went past it's expected timetable, so anything past the already collected data would be extraneous.


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/science/space/11nasa.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin